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CAPITOL HILL U.S. lawmakers welcomed the apparent ouster of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, although not the military action that confined Mugabe to his home and could end his 37-year rule.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, deemed Mugabe's sidelining a desirable outcome accomplished through less than desirable means.

"We obviously don't like coups," Cardin said Wednesday, but he suggested that "it's time for the country of Zimbabwe to move on. I hope that they will find a democratic process."

Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake has firsthand knowledge of Zimbabwe. He lived in Zimbabwe in the 1980s and wrote his master's thesis on Mugabe, "trying to explain his hold on power. It's been a long-term interest for me."

But Flake spoke bluntly about how Mugabe would go down in history: "As a long-serving thug."

Mugabe "just killed the economy, and in the end lost an election and couldn't take it, so [he] intervened and then stayed in power. So it's not a good legacy," the U.S. lawmaker said. "You know, Zimbabwe, [people] would always say, was the breadbasket of southern Africa and became a basket case during his reign."

Source: Voice of America

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